Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are tracking how rare plants are responding to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Responses

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research

News

Date published: June 8, 2018

Keeping Track of "Caly"

Caly isn't likely to wonder off off, but with a remote camera and monitoring station online 24-hours a day, USGS and partners at the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawai‘i, and the USFWS can learn how an extremely rare plant is responding to changes in environmental conditions.

Date published: November 22, 2017

Sniffing Out Better Tools for Addressing Avian Botulism

Dogs have great olfactory abilities and wildlife biologists think they can help endangered waterbirds in Hawai‘i. Dogs are being trained to sniff out the endangered ducks (koloa maoli (Anas wyvilliana) and Laysan ducks (A. laysanensis)) that die of avian botulism. 

Date published: July 10, 2017

Hawaiian Birds Rapidly Colonize Young Restoration Forest

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

Publications

Year Published: 2019

Economical environmental sampler designs for detecting airborn spread of fungi responsible for rapid `Ōhi` death

We designed two new samplers for monitoring airborne particulates that rely on either natural wind currents (Passive Environmental Sampler) or a battery-operated fan (Active Environmental Sampler). Both samplers are significantly less expensive than commercial devices such as Rotorod® and Burkard Samplers that are used in the agricultural and...

Atkinson, Carter T.; Roy, Kylle; Granthon, Carolina

Year Published: 2018

2017-2018 Palila abundance estimates and trend

The palila (Loxioides bailleui) population was surveyed annually from 1998–2018 on Mauna Kea Volcanoto determine abundance, population trend, and spatial distribution. In the latest surveys, the 2017population was estimated at 1,177−1,813 birds (point estimate: 1,461) and the 2018 population wasestimated at 778−1,420 (point estimate: 1,051). Only...

Genz, Ayesha S.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Camp, Richard J.; Banko, Paul C.

Year Published: 2018

Identifying opportunities for long-lasting habitat conservation and restoration in Hawaii’s shifting climate

Conservation efforts in isolated archipelagos such as Hawaii often focus on habitat-based conservation and restoration efforts that benefit multiple species. Unfortunately, identifying locations where such efforts are safer from climatic shifts is still challenging. We aimed to provide a method to approximate these potential habitat shifts for...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Jacobi, James D.